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Rear Light

Looks like my old CATEYE has died.  I want a real beast of a light as I'll likely be riding well out into the road with surface degredation around here.  And I'd like it to be battery powered - proper batteries - not some USB charged excuse of a battery.  This is because, since retirement I ride at odd times and I just want to know that the Duracells will live up to their name and I've not forgotten to recharge the light.

It also needs to be rack mounted, I noted in the RL review all lights were seat post mounted.  Any suggestions?  I'm not in the shop that often these days so a bit behind the times / out of date. 

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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17 comments

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bikes | 1 week ago
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When the battery of a USB light no longer holds charge, can they be recycled? I see the battery recycling containers commonly seen in supermarkets don't state that they accept that type of battery.

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Hirsute replied to bikes | 1 week ago
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I'd take it to the local recycling centre aka the tip. you don't want to put it in household rubbish in case of fire.

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S.E. replied to bikes | 3 days ago
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Batteries are NOT recycled. It can be done, but it's too costly.

They are burned separately from house garbage, with other toxic wastes, because they are much more polluting and fumes require more filters.

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bikes replied to S.E. | 2 days ago
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I didn't know that, thanks. Which is better for the environment, AA/AAA Ni MH rechargeables or whatever batteries are in the USB-type lights (lithium?).

One plus of the first is that I would guess that not many people bother to dismantle the USB lights to remove the battery.

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S.E. replied to bikes | 5 hours ago
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Bio-friendliness is a very complex question to answer, mining, extraction of raw material, life cycle, disposal! (find some e-waste bin when out of order)...

My guess, for regular use internal rechargeable might be better... It seems that most high quality bike lights come with internal batteries anyway (maybe it's also easier to have a small waterproof door for USB than for AA cells?)

On the other hand if you only use the light very occasionally, alkaline may be the way to go. I have a rear light, a tiny Maglite and a hiking/forehead light with AAA's and was surprised how many years I could keep the same cells, using them only very shortly and intermittently (usually the capacity of these AAA had been quite disappointing, for more intensive drain). Ni-MH lose their charge faster than alkaline when not in use, and their voltage is lower (1.2 vs 1.5V so make sure the light works well with them, may indicate low charge when not), also good ones might be more expensive, like eneloops... but if you already have plenty of the same format (AA/AAA) for other devices, and a good charger, then why not Ni-MH?

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check12 | 1 month ago
2 likes

just get a usb rechargeable light grandad 

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jaymack replied to check12 | 6 days ago
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Perhaps John doesn't like the idea of throwing otherwise perfectly functuonal equipment away for want of a battery, it's maybe something to do with not wanting to bequeath a completely fuc£ed planet to his grandchildren; no doubt because he loves them.

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ReflecToes | 1 month ago
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A friend of mine created a rear light called tailgator technologies that has an accelorometer in it to get brighter when you are slowing down.   My son and I use it and it works great! 

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ktache | 1 month ago
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Knog do a rack mounted Blinder.

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John N | 1 month ago
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I really miss my old Monster CATEYE light (bounced out of the holder when I hit a pothole some years back), that took 2x AA batteries and could be relied on to last through a Winter.

I'll have a look at the ALDI option, but as luck would have it, I managed to get my old OMNI 5 working again.  And I'd better look for a spare just in case it fails again.

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Simon E replied to John N | 1 month ago
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Although the Cateye Viz series are rechargeable they do still use the same square bracket so will fit in the standard seat post and rack adapters.

Having been reluctant to switch from AAA Cateye rear lights I'm now a convert - the Viz 100 plugs into my PC USB socket and will be fully charged in an hour or so after a week of commuting (35-lumen Group mode lasts 11 hours while 20-lumen flashing is 70 hours). Improved output and lens design makes it far better than the older models, including the Omni 5, which is pretty weak by comparison.

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OnYerBike | 1 month ago
2 likes

Cateye still sell a battery operated, rack mounted light: https://www.cateye.com/intl/products/safety_lights/TL-LD580G/

Busch and Muller also have a couple of options, see e.g. https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/lighting-battery-rear/?brand=busch%5F%5Fmuller

I do have slight hesitation about recommending Busch and Muller lights (or any other StVZO approved light): the German standards seem to take a particular interest in avoiding dazzling other road users, which (while noble in intention) does mean you are unlikely to get the "beast" of a light you are after, especially if you want to be visible in daytime (any kind of daytime flash option would not meet StVZO standards).

Beyond that, I suspect you're looking at Amazon/AliExpress specials to tick your boxes - plenty of people report success, but I wouldn't like to place my safety in the hands of a brand I haven't heard of.

But you might have more options if you can be flexible on your requirements? I for one would not rule out rechargable lights - yes you need to remember to recharge them once in a while, but I would rather do that than constantly buy new disposable batteries. I would also note that there are various accessories you can use to attach lights in other ways (e.g. adapters that mimic seatposts; under-saddle mounts etc.) that might open up more options (battery powered or otherwise).

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John N replied to OnYerBike | 1 month ago
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I didn't see that as I was looking on the Cateye's U.K. page.  It's not the beast I had but it looks to be the nearest thing to it.  Now to find a stockist.

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HLaB | 1 month ago
1 like

Before I switched to USB light I used a Smart Superflash they were alway talked of well on forums.

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Hirsute | 1 month ago
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Always have at least 2 rear lights for failure and safety.

To fix a light to a rack, easiest to have one of these, then you should be able to fit any light to it.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/lighting-spares/madison-universal-light-moun...

Otherwise use cable ties to the rack  - did this with a cateye TL LD 1100                                  

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wtjs | 1 month ago
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Get with it! I've been using Aldi rear lights for 8 years now- they're all Micro-USB charging (no doubt they'll move to USB-C some time) and have never failed. They come as a pair with an equally excellent front for about £10-15. Just buy two if you think you might forget to charge or if you want insurance for a long ride in the dark

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bob.sweet | 1 month ago
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John, 

My personal favourite is cateye AU100, but sadly no longer available. 

For general advice, cycling uk webpage on rear lights is at, but sadly no rack munted ones. https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/group-test-battery-rear-lights

here is the road.cc rear light review. https://road.cc/buyers-guide/best-rear-bike-lights-cycling

I suggest keep it simple. Don't do ones with brake lights or radar. I tried one with a camera, it had a meltdown,.

I have one of these, but not on my normal night time bike. Rack mounted, 2xAAA batteries. You need the bolt holes at the rear of the rack.:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fischer-battery-Rack-Light-Orange/dp/B01ING0CZ0

There are some really bright ones out there. If you get chance ask what they are using.

Bob Sweet

 

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